Saturday, September 19, 2009

CIA Wants Investigation Stopped

It’s difficult to imagine the full extent and breadth of our imperial endeavors. Hillary Clinton is threatening Iran again, U.S. military forces are on the move in Somalia, wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq not to mention 750 military bases around the globe. It would seem that no place on the planet is remote enough to escape the reach of U.S. imperialism or U.S. interests. Embroiled in all of this is the CIA who are guilty of using the barbaric practice of torture to extract “intelligence” from those unfortunate enough to fall into their hands as suspects. Seven former CIA chiefs have sent a letter to president Obama asking him to halt new investigations into the CIA’s use of torture by Attorney General Eric H. Holder.

You can read the letter here. (PDF file) In it you can find the kinds of excuses and rationalizations that would be expected. I notice neither the NYT nor the CIA chiefs call it torture rather it is “interrogations.” The letter claims that the CIA should not be subjected to reinvestigations at the whim of new administrations after previous administrations had already investigated the same charges and that they must be free to do their “dangerous and critical” jobs without worrying that a future Attorney General will reopen the case. Of course one wonders just how dangerous it is for the torturers, I always rather thought it was the person who was being tortured that was the one who was endangered.

The letter then maintains that public disclosure of past investigations (torture) will not only help al Qaeda to elude capture but to plan future attacks as well and then goes on to say that these “operations” (torture) save lives. One really has to question the veracity of that statement. We know that the vast majority of suspects were rounded up sometimes at random, other times by the CIA offering monetary rewards, which are hardly reliable methods of attaining reliable information regarding just who is a suspect. The idea that this produces “good” data is absurd at best.

The letter concludes with a plea that the new investigation would hamper the CIA’s ability to garner cooperation from other nation’s intelligence agencies and that it would come out which nations participated in helping the CIA torture prisoners who were told that their role would remain forever hidden. Doesn’t that just break your heart? Sniff.

There is no doubt that the CIA would be hampered by a new investigation. Good. There is a farcical quality to all of this. It seems highly unlikely that Obama would allow any damage to be done to the CIA and I cannot help but think that this is a nice little performance to convince people that we are still a functioning semi-democracy and that the system still works. It’s a system alright, it still works alright, and that’s the whole problem.


At September 20, 2009 5:00 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

Everytime I think things couldn't get worse, a new low is reached. This letter simply says, "Ignore our past torture of suspects because we want to continue to torture." The rest is just BS.

At September 20, 2009 11:36 AM, Blogger rob payne said...

Hi Mimi,

That’s a good point that they wish to continue the practice of torture and I believe part of the reason for this little dog and pony show is that it helps give the illusion that we no longer torture prisoners when in fact we do.


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